Towson University was established in 1866 as the Maryland State Normal School with the strict intent to train future teachers. It has since expanded into a comprehensive university with over 21,000 students enrolled in more than 100 degree and certificate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and applied professional fields, including nursing and business. In keeping with its original mission the University continues to graduate the highest number of teachers in the State of Maryland.
Special Collections and Archives pays great attention to collecting materials that focus on the history of education at Towson University, within the State of Maryland, and to a smaller extent, in the U.S. and internationally. In 2009 the department expanded its collecting scope to include Judaica and Judaic Studies when Baltimore Hebrew University (BHU) became the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University and moved its Joseph Meyerhoff Library rare books and artifacts collections to Special Collections and Archives.